Chemical uptake into human stratum corneum in vivo from volatile and non-volatile solvents

Audra L. Stinchcomb, Fabrice Pirot, Gilles D. Touraille, Annette L. Bunge, Richard H. Guy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (SciVal)


Purpose. Simple, safe and quick in vivo methods for estimating chemical uptake into the stratum corneum (SC) from volatile and non-volatile solvents are invaluable to health risk assessors. This study compares the human in vivo SC uptake of a model compound (4-cyanophenol) from water and acetone using quantitative attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy. Methods. Small areas on the ventral forearms of human volunteers were treated with 4-cyanophenol (CP) dissolved either in water or acetone. After the skin was cleansed of remaining surface CP, SC samples were taken by a standard tape-stripping method. CP concentration profiles across the SC were quantitated by direct measurement of the permeant on the individual tape-strips using ATR-FTIR. Results. Increasing the duration of exposure to CP aqueous solutions resulted in increasing CP uptake into the SC; the kinetics of uptake correlated well with predictive diffusion equations. Increasing the 'dose' of CP in acetone also resulted in increasing uptake into the SC, but uptake eventually plateaued at a maximum level. The amount of CP taken up into the SC from acetone was 2 to 8-fold greater than that from water following similar short-time exposures. Conclusions. These safe, simple experimental methods provide practical and predictive assessments of chemical uptake into human SC in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1288-1293
Number of pages6
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 1999


  • Acetone
  • Percutaneous absorption
  • Risk assessment
  • Stratum corneum
  • Volatile solvents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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